Rio Tinto is pushing ahead with expansions in the Pilbara region despite its deal with BHP Billiton not taking off. Iron ore production in Australia is likely to get a 28% boost starting 2013 thanks to these expansions. The yearly iron ore production would rise to 283 million tonnes after the $3.1 billion expansion.
As part of the expansion Rio Tinto will be improving port and rail infrastructure in Cape Lambert. The company is currently producing twice the iron ore that BHP Billiton is. It is second in worldwide production only to Vale of Brazil.
Rio Tinto's iron ore division chief Sam Walsh said in a statement that their plan was to boost their capacity to more than 50% to 333 million tonnes a year, with built in potential to grow still further. It is confident about the future for commodities because of strong demand from China.
The deal between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto would have saved both companies millions of dollars, however it was deemed anti competitive by a number of regulatory bodies around the world. So it was finally scrapped.